It Starts with a Great Subject Line
You will want to take some time to put together a great e-mail subject (e-mail title). If this is your first time attempting to contact a coach, your subject could determine whether or not he or she will open your e-mail at all. Presenting your best skills and attributes in a short, concise e-mail subject will give you the best chance for a coach to open your e-mail.
Start off with your graduating class or, for international students, your preferred year of enrollment. The best way to list your graduating class is “Class of 20xx.” You may want to put your graduating class in the beginning because it will help the coach initially identify if you fit his needs. Beware of leading off an e-mail subject with numbers because it makes your e-mail more likely to get caught in a coach’s spam mail folder. Never write your e-mail as “20xx Graduate.” Leading off with words is always better than starting with numbers.
Highlight Your Best Attribute
Next, carefully determine what your best attribute is. Consider the research you did when writing your introduction. If you are applying to a school that has rigorous academic standards or if you are a better student than athlete, you may want to say something like “Class of 20XX (your position or sport) (height and weight) with a (your GPA) and (your SAT).” Coaches look for good academics as much as, if not more than, athletic ability. If you are a better athlete than student, put your best athletic skills or information in the subject. For example, if you are a baseball player, you can say, “Class of 20XX Third Baseman 6’1” 185lbs w/ .400 BA / 75 RBIs.” Combining both academics and athletics works as well; just make sure you can still keep it short.
If you are struggling to concisely summarize your best attributes, you should keep your e-mail subject as simple as possible. Sometimes just saying you have an online video may get your e-mail opened. Say something like “Class of 20XX (position or sport and height/weight) w/ Online Video.” If you don’t have a highlight tape online, you should create one and upload it to a video-hosting site such as YouTube.
If You Aren’t Getting Responses then Try Different Titles/Subjects
Don’t be hesitant to try different titles. Not all titles will work with all coaches. Try to tailor your titles to each coach as much as possible. If you don’t get a response from a coach, try a different subject and e-mail them again. Keep track of which e-mail subjects you get responses to and which ones don’t because it will help you in the future if you decide to reach out to more schools.